triter; tritest
: hackneyed or boring from much use : not fresh or original
tritely adverb
triteness noun
Choose the Right Synonym for trite

trite, hackneyed, stereotyped, threadbare mean lacking the freshness that evokes attention or interest.

trite applies to a once effective phrase or idea spoiled from long familiarity.

"you win some, you lose some" is a trite expression

hackneyed stresses being worn out by overuse so as to become dull and meaningless.

all of the metaphors and images in the poem are hackneyed

stereotyped implies falling invariably into the same pattern or form.

views of minorities that are stereotyped and out-of-date

threadbare applies to what has been used until its possibilities of interest have been totally exhausted.

a mystery novel with a threadbare plot

Examples of trite in a Sentence

The wrong sort of built environment, she argued, wrecked the social fabric of cities. This view seems almost trite today, but in the 1960's it was insurgent. Robert Kuttner, New York Times Book Review, 12 Mar. 2000
Experts are always unique (their tritest pronouncements are packaged as news) … Wendy Kaminer, New York Times Book Review, 11 Feb. 1990
Its wares are soiled with frequent handling; its styles are so hackneyed, trite, and homogeneous, they constitute a single style … Joyce Carol Oates, The Profane Art, 1983
That argument has become trite. the speaker offered disappointingly trite sentiments about embracing each challenge as an opportunity
Recent Examples on the Web There’s very little chemistry or connection among them, resulting in an unengaging, totally trite and lackluster story. Katie Walsh, Los Angeles Times, 21 Mar. 2024 Kevin Durant drama, Draymond Green antics, NBA Finals pressures, empty arenas, daily COVID testing, and last-place seasons seem trite now. Dieter Kurtenbach, The Mercury News, 22 Jan. 2024 At this stage in the 21st century that much transparency seems like the tritest form of misogynistic pretend-fashion provocation. Vanessa Friedman, New York Times, 28 Feb. 2024 Loving a film so trite and so morally vacant requires ignorance about our cultural legacy and how to use that legacy for spiritual and political defense. Armond White, National Review, 21 Feb. 2024 Others talked evasively about Marley, using only trite, unhelpful sound bites. Rob Tannenbaum, New York Times, 16 Feb. 2024 Half-spoofing the fairy-tale genre, TPB is full of trite showbizzy anachronisms that don’t require innocent audience belief but inspire snark. Armond White, National Review, 7 Feb. 2024 The writing is trite and uses platitudes to explain situations, rather than delving into the emotional experience of the author. Rekha Tenjarla, Washington Post, 8 Jan. 2024 There is a monthly overview and then a page for each day, along with a quote that manages to be thought-provoking without being too trite. Medea Giordano, WIRED, 3 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'trite.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin tritus, from past participle of terere to rub, wear away — more at throw entry 1

First Known Use

1548, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of trite was in 1548

Dictionary Entries Near trite

Cite this Entry

“Trite.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


triter; tritest
: so common that the newness or cleverness has worn off
a trite remark
tritely adverb
triteness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on trite

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